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Newsroom on HBO: First Take

by John on 06/28/2012

Here’s my first rule of watching a new TV series whether it is about news or not.

I have to watch at least two episodes before I make a decision to watch or not to watch.

With that being said, I have only watched one episode of HBO’s The Newsroom. So, I have another episode to watch. Here are my first impressions.

  1. I wish when I was an anchor I had that control over the news management. I usually had news directors and general managers who threatened you with your job and they took all the credit for anything that went well. Most newsrooms are run by executives, not news anchors. I was given more creative latitude on my national shows than I ever did on my news shows.
  2. I never remember that much drama in a newsroom on a personal level. I can’t recall that many romances among co-workers. Let’s put it this way, I can’t remember an EP I wanted to date.
  3. I don’t recall too many anchors (myself excluded here) being the prick that Jeff Daniels portrayed. If anything, I think most of the anchors I know (myself included) as being boring. Most people in the newsroom wouldn’t put up with that. I witnessed Peter Jennings in the ABC newsroom during the Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and he was friends with his crew. I had a rule as a news anchor: you get one anchor tantrum a year, so make it a good one and something that will help you in the long run, so people know you care but you don’t overdue it like a raving lunatic.
  4. What I truly enjoyed was the opening scene. Jeff Daniels is at a college forum. He lays into the liberal and the conservative on the panel with him. It was classic. It was almost as good as Jon Stewart’s diatribe on CNN’s Crossfire in 2004.  You know how many times I wanted to say that stuff.  Wait, I can now.

More to come.

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